Cabinet nod for 4 additional NDRF battalions

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New Delhi : Aimed at strengthening the disaster response setup in the country, the Union Cabinet on Thursday approved four additional National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) battalions.

"The Union Cabinet has given approval for raising four additional battalions of the NDRF at an estimated cost of Rs 637 crore," said Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad during a press briefing, after a decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said that two of the four battalions will initially be raised in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and one each in the Border Security Force and Assam Rifles.

"Based on the vulnerability profile, these battalions will be placed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi and the National Capital Region. Later, these will be converted into NDRF battalions," Prasad added.

Created in 2006, the disaster response force currently has 12 battalions stationed across the country for easy deployment during natural disasters and other emergencies.

The force is specially trained to deal with calamities like earthquakes, floods, cyclones and man-made disasters.

The NDRF has earned laurels for its services during floods in Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Tamil Nadu; cyclones in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and earthquake in Nepal.

An NDRF team was also sent to Japan a few years ago to help the authorities there in handling a tsunami.